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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teaming Up with ESUP: Finance and OHR staff exhibit great team work on challenging topic

Wills and Oliveira kept users and the ‘greater good’ in mind while working on Payroll Accounting 

In our last edition of Teaming Up with ESUP, we defined a team as: “a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project” (taken from dictionary.com). Like the last team, this definition also fits Carlson School of Management’s Finance Director Michelle Wills and Office of Human Resources Business Analyst Silas Oliveira who, with their colleagues, worked to streamline business processes and leverage the new Payroll Accounting functionality coming with ESUP.

Silas Oliveira and Michelle Wills

Payroll Accounting processes are complex, and the delivered PeopleSoft solution didn’t entirely meet the University’s needs. During the Interactive Design and Prototyping (IDP) sessions, there were some rough patches where previous decisions had to be revisited and changed, which led to more IDP sessions and in some cases, significant changes. Silas and Michelle guided the whole effort as the team worked through these challenges together to find acceptable solutions.

When asked what they appreciated about the other, Michelle valued Silas’s ability to keep the users in mind and his “incredible amount of institutional knowledge.” In return, Silas admired Michelle’s ability to take on others’ perspectives and keep “the greater good in mind when weighing decisions.”

Silas and Michelle agreed that it takes diverse perspectives and a willingness to engage and get involved for a team to be effective. Their colleagues noticed. Instructional Designer and  System Campus Training Lead Pattie Samberg said, “They could readily see the other’s perspective … they made it seem easy to discuss topics and arrive at solutions.” 

According to Silas, this ability to take on each other’s point of view helped the team achieve “a much needed understanding of how central business practices impact departments differently,” along with a more user-friendly Distribution Entry process. 

The cross-functional collaboration between Silas, Michelle, and the HRMS and Finance work streams--as well as countless collaborations--continue to be a vital part of ESUP’s success. Please submit names of people you think demonstrate outstanding teamwork as part of ESUP to esup@umn.edu and look for your colleagues in future articles as the program continues to move forward.

To learn more about what’s changing with Payroll Accounting, click here.

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